A retired Marietta police officer wants to retire with his K-9 partner, but he has run into some legal issues along the way...
Imagine working with a dog as a partner in your job. They are not only there as a furry friend, but also as a reliable colleague. That sort of position tends to create a bond between dog and human, and after years of working together you may want to take said furry friend home with you to care for them at the end of the day.
This is exactly how Police Officer Matthew Hickey of Marietta, Ohio felt for his K-9 partner, police dog Ajax. The two worked closely together everyday for the past four years. And when he finally retired after close to thirty years of active service, all he wanted was for his canine companion to join him. So he offered to buy the dog for $3,500.
It seemed simple enough, and most people would agree that they deserve to be together. But as it turns out there is a legal hindrance to this. Apparently Ajax is considered city property and is still able to work for five to six years, by the law of the State of Ohio he could only be released by way of a public auction.
"The dog is a property of the city of Marietta. Because it is a piece of personal property, it is treated just like if it was a shovel ... that's just how it is," City Law Director Paul Bertram III told WBNS.
But there is a silver lining , the city can only sell Ajax to a retired police officer or to someone who trains police dogs, which means Hickey is one of a few people who qualify, although he fears that someone could outbid him.
Public support for Hickey and Ajax have been growing. The City of Marietta's Facebook page has been plastered with comments calling for the retired officer to keep the dog.
The Mayor of the city Joe Williams is sympathetic to Hickey's plight, but he is adamant that the law should be upheld. "I would be happy for him to get the dog. But I can't because the law states I can't," he said.
A GoFundME page has been set up so that Hickey could buy Ajax. So far it has raised more than $70,000 . An auction date will be set by the Marietta City council on Thursday.